Project Title

APEC Workshop on Enhancing Whistleblower Protection in Corruption Cases 

Project Year

2016   

Project Number

ACT 01 2016 

Project Session

Session 2   

Project Type

Standard 

Project Status

Project in Implementation   
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Project No.

ACT 01 2016 

Project Title

APEC Workshop on Enhancing Whistleblower Protection in Corruption Cases 

Project Status

Project in Implementation 

Publication (if any)

 

Fund Account

General Project Account 

Sub-fund

None 

Project Year

2016 

Project Session

Session 2 

APEC Funding

90,000 

Co-funding Amount

30,000 

Total Project Value

120,000 

Sponsoring Forum

Anti-Corruption and Transparency Experts Working Group (ACTWG) 

Topics

Anti-Corruption 

Committee

SOM Steering Committee on Economic and Technical Cooperation (SCE) 

Other Fora Involved

 

Other Non-APEC Stakeholders Involved

 

Proposing Economy(ies)

Papua New Guinea; Chinese Taipei 

Co-Sponsoring Economies

Australia; Indonesia; Korea; Malaysia; New Zealand; Singapore; United States; Viet Nam 

Expected Start Date

01/01/2017 

Expected Completion Date

31/12/2017 

Project Proponent Name 1

Kao Po-Yang (new PO wef 15 May 2017) 

Job Title 1

Director of Planning Division 

Organization 1

Agency Against Corruption, Ministry of Justice 

Postal Address 1

7F., No.318, Songjiang Rd., Zhongshan Dist., Taipei City 10468  

Telephone 1

886-2 25675586 

Fax 1

Not Applicable 

Email 1

aac2032@mail.moj.gov.tw 

Project Proponent Name 2

Fredrick Tamarua 

Job Title 2

Senior Legal Officer 

Organization 2

Department of Justice and Attorney General 

Postal Address 2

P.O Box 591, Waigani, National Capital District, Papua New Guinea 

Telephone 2

675 84157582 

Fax 2

Not Applicable 

Email 2

Fredrick.Tamarua@justice.gov.pg 

Declaration

Kao Po-Yang and Fredrick Tamarua 

Project Summary

In the 2015 APEC Leaders’ Declaration, Leaders recognized that corruption impeded economic development and called for promoting cultures of integrity.  Moreover, Leaders supported international cooperation to prevent corruption in APEC. The project topic is to strengthen APEC’s work on anti-corruption through the enhancement of APEC members’ capabilities to protect whistleblowers. The existence of an effective whistleblower system can serve as a deterrent to corruption and ensure whistleblowers will be more willing to come forward and provide important information. The positive effect is the advancement of cultures of integrity in the APEC region. A workshop will be held in 2017 in Taipei to generate suggestions for building successful whistleblower systems and to bring together experts to share experiences and best practices on whistle-blower protection and how it can effectively be afforded, more so, how it works in practice. The workshop will also promote public-private partnership by inviting speakers and participants from government, business and academia.

Relevance

Combatting corruption must be a concerted effort in order for corrupt officials and other perpetrators to be held accountable and punished for their illegal actions. Not only does it require a whole-of-government approach, but also cooperation with international organizations, non-governmental organizations, and the community at large. In order for members of the public, public servants and the private sector to assist law enforcement agencies to combat corruption, governments through their legislators and law enforcement agencies must afford persons who are willing to share information, some degree of protection and safety. Whistle-blower protection is vital to the investigation and prosecution of corruption cases. Most APEC economies have existing mechanisms for whistle-blower protection, and therefore have experiences and practices that can add value to APEC and domestic corruption efforts if shared. This workshop aims to bring together experts (legislators, law enforcement officers, policy makers) to share these experiences and best practices on how whistle-blower protection can be afforded, more so, how it can best work in practice. The project also aims to build capacity of those involved in legislating and enforcing whistle-blower protection. 

This project is interconnected with a number of Rank 1 priorities, in that it contributes to the Renewed APEC Agenda for Structural Reform (RAASR) by the efforts of ensuring integrity of processes and good governance in systems within APEC member economies, which echoes APEC’s priority in 2017 to seek the advancement of structural reform for sustainable, innovative and inclusive growth. It also related to rank 2 because it supports the Leaders’ Growth Strategy, particularly on Secure Growth: Anti-Corruption, good governance and transparency, including anti-money laundering activities. The project aims to strengthening anti-corruption enforcement by providing a safer environment for information disclosure to initiate the investigation and prosecution of corruption.

Objectives

This project aims to enhance corruption investigation and prosecution by strengthening whistle-blower protection mechanisms in both public and private sectors and formulate positive social perspectives to the whistle-blowers within APEC member economies. The key objectives of this project are listed below:

1) A two-day APEC Workshop that brings together Law Enforcement Officers and Policy-makers to share experiences and best practices on whistle-blower protection.

2) An outcomes report of the best practices on the development and enforcement of whistle-blower protection that can be shared amongst APEC member economies.

3) Develop recommendations for advancing APEC’s work in protecting whistleblowers.

Alignment

This project aligns well with the Leaders’ Growth Strategy to promote good governance and transparency through anti-corruption efforts. Leaders’, under the Santiago Commitment to fight Corruption and Ensure Transparency and the APEC Course of Action on Fighting Corruption and Ensuring Transparency whereby Leaders’ aspire for transparent legal regimes and systems to fight corruption, and stressed the important role of the United National Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC) to fight the scourge of corruption. This project supports UNCAC provisions (Articles 32 and 33) on the “Protection of witnesses, experts and victims” and “Protection of reporting persons”. Leaders in the Beijing Declaration 2014 also instructed actions to ‘establish measures and systems to protect whistle-blowers’ should be taken. 

This project is aligned with the ACT Multi-year Strategic Planning 2013-2017 which provides strategic direction for work on Anti-Corruption in APEC. The Strategic plan envisages an APEC community where, amongst other things, economies cooperate to develop robust anti-corruption laws and systems, and communities and businesses demand high ethical standards, and are empowered to prevent and fight corruption and bribery. Having in place sufficient whistle-blower protection is essential to creating conducive domestic environments where people can openly report and provide information on corrupt practices within the government sector or in businesses. The Beijing Declaration 2014 also places emphasis on this.

TILF/ASF Justification

Not Applicable.

Beneficiaries and Outputs

Outputs: There are three key outputs that are anticipated from this project: 

1) Best practices and experience sharing: Participants and experts will be brought together in the actual workshop to exchange ideas and share best practices on how to provide effective whistleblower protection. Interactions and activities at the workshop will broaden the knowledge of the participants, especially from the economies that are developing whistle-blower legal infrastructure. The workshop also provides a good networking opportunity among the personnel from APEC economies and relative international organizations.

2) Develop recommendations: The workshop will identify the key elements of whistle-blower protection and their practicable conditions meanwhile provide a forum for recommendations to be developed based on the lessons and experience shared at the workshop. The recommendations will outline common deficiencies, competencies and challenges identified, and suggestions on how these can be addressed domestically. The suggestions will also outline how APEC as a whole (through ACTWG) can drive whistle-blower protection through its activities, and identify synergies with ongoing work in other international forums on the same matter where there is potential for collaboration. Capacity gaps and needs will feature prominently in the recommendations for consideration by ACTWG, as well as a suggested approach on how the group can help member economies bridge these gaps.

3) 2-step reports: An outcomes document/report outlining the key discussions will take place at the workshop. The final report will include:

a) the results from the pre-workshop survey, which will help to see whether the key expectations and competencies identified in the pre-workshop survey were given adequate coverage at the event and reflected in outcomes document and final report.

b) A summary of the discussions that will transpire and summarize the recommendations that the experts and the groups develop (a separate document containing the recommendations will also be compiled).

c) A final analysis as measured against the evaluations will be collected from participants after the event. 

Outcomes: 

1) For all APEC member economies: all APEC economies already have an appreciation of the importance of an effective whistle-blower system. This project seeks to build off this by identifying gaps in existing systems and processes and identifying collective ways to address this through best practices and experience sharing. 

2) For Participants: participants would after the workshop have gained a better understanding of the important elements of an effective whistle-blower system, and be able to make an assessment of any improvements that may need to be made to guide domestic processes in enhancing, redefining or implementing whistle-blower systems.

a) For participants from economies that have existing systems, this workshop will give them validation of their systems and/or deficiencies that may need to be addressed through legislative or administrative measures.

b) For economies in the process of developing a system or overhauling an existing system, the output of this project will provide a good basis for future work on the same based on internationally consistent standards. 

3) A set of guiding principles will be drafted at the end of workshop and then circulated within ACTWG. The set of principles will seek endorsement by the annual Concluding Senior Officials’ Meeting (CSOM). 

4) The guiding principles of whistle-blower protection will be the reference for APEC economies to seek convergence on legislation and execution in the aforementioned area. Capacity building needs identified at the workshop will be outlined in the final report and reported to the ACTWG with recommendations on future capacity building recommendations, and potential collaboration with the relevant international organizations to address the issues identified. 

Beneficiaries: 

1) Participants’ qualification: The Workshop will call for experts from APEC member economies’ Law Enforcement Agencies, Departments/Ministries of Justice, Ombudsman Commissions, International Organizations concerned with Corruption (UNODC), and NGOs involved in providing witness/whistleblower protection, and the private sector. Speakers will also be sought from the Judiciary who play a great role in ordering protection of certain persons involved in the court process. This project seeks to attract participation from senior ranking officials who are involved in the decision making of the organization or technical officers who provide advice in the decision making process. To ensure broader private sector participation, representatives will be encouraged from unions to provide a broader business sector perspective on issues discussed, rather than single entities. The APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC) will be engaged to identify the appropriate private sector participation. 

Beneficiaries:

1) Participants from the relevant government agencies/organizations will be the primary beneficiaries of this project as they will use the knowledge and insights gained to drive policy in their home economies, and in the ordinary implementation of their tasks.

2) Economies will benefit as a result of this project, because participants include policy decision makers, law enforcement officers in both public and private sectors, ideally will return and be able to apply their knowledge gained for the betterment of their economies and resources, and protection of the rule of law and human life, which will also be an encouragement to the potential whistle-blowers.

Dissemination

The primary intention is to disseminate the outputs of this project to those persons who will use the information to better improve their whistle-blower systems. This will be achieved through electronic means. The output which will be disseminated is the final report of the workshop containing summaries of the presentations and discussions at the workshop, the collective recommendations on how economies can improve whistleblower protection, and suggestions on how APEC through ACTWG can continue to drive discussions in this area. APEC Publications Database will be the primary platform for electronic dissemination. In addition, the outcome documents will be emailed to all participants and presented to representatives of APEC economies who attend ACTWG. This will not prevent other interested persons from accessing the material, as we will seek to have the recommendations made available on the ACTWG page of the APEC website. There is no intention to sell any of the output. The publications will be made to be compliant with the relevant APEC publications requirements.

Gender

As in many cases, there are certain sensitivities that need to be taken into account when dealing with women’s issues, particularly when protection needs to be afforded in criminal cases. Speakers will be requested to provide insights on how to deal with these sensitivities when affording whistle-blower protection. Certain economies may have special ways in addressing this issues which can be shared and drawn from. To better understand these sensitivities and to ensure that the workshop program and material is adapted to address these issues, the pre-workshop questionnaire will seek to gather information on how protection of women in whistleblower cases are handled in each economy and the common challenges faced. An analysis of these findings will be made known to the speakers, experts and facilitator at the workshop so that discussions on this issue can be factored into the program, presentations and discussions where appropriate. 

Efforts will be made to have a gender balance when nominating participants for the workshop, and inviting speakers. For the APEC funded participants, one participant will need to be a woman.

Work Plan

Timeframe

Activity/Task

Who will be involved?

Milestone

Oct – Dec 2016

Development of project proposal and APEC approval process

Project overseers
APEC Secretariat

Approved project proposal

Nov 2016

Develop pre-workshop questionnaires to identify needs and competencies of economies on the subject matter.

Project overseers

Draft Questionnaire

Dec 2016

Finalize questionnaire

Project overseers

Finalized Questionnaire

Jan 2017

Distribute questionnaire (via email)

Initiate talks with potential speakers/experts

Project overseers
APEC Secretariat
ACTWG Economy reps

 Early Feb 2017

Collect and analyze questionnaires – develop summary

Project overseers

Brief analysis of questionnaires

Late Feb 2017

Develop skeleton draft of agenda and formulate discussion topics 

Planning begins for workshop

Project overseers

Draft agenda

SOM1 2017

Present on planned workshop at ACTWG1.

Economy Reps of sponsoring economies of ACTWG
Project overseers

March 2017

Revised agenda for workshop and work to finalize speakers/experts 

Liaise with APEC Sec on logistics and development of administrative circular 

Project overseers
APEC Secretariat

Revised agenda with tentative list of speakers

March –June 2017

Preparation for workshop

Project overseers
APEC Secretariat

July 2017

Hosting of workshop 

(Outcomes document and recommendations to be circulated for comments from participants)

Project overseers
Participants and experts

Workshop, Outcomes Document & Recommendations

August 2017

Finalize and distribute Final Report

Project overseers

Final Report

SOM3 2017

Present report to ACTWG2

Economy Reps of sponsoring economies of ACTWG
Project overseers

Dec 2017

Completion report

Project overseers

Completion Report

Risks

Time constraints and delays: The project is pressed for timing with regards to implementation (1 year), it is therefore anticipated that there may be slight delays in the timing of certain activities (e.g. getting responses to the pre-workshop questionnaires). This has been considered and the timing for certain activities has been slightly exaggerated in some parts to allow for only minor timing variations in project activities. The variations are not significant and in the few instances, allowances of no-more than two weeks of extra timing to conduct activities has been factored (e.g developing a draft agenda will not take one month, but an allowance has been made under this item to cater for delays in the preceding activity i.e. receiving responses for the questionnaires). 

Participation of experts: It may be the case that certain experts may not be able to attend the event for various reasons. This risk will be mitigated by sending invitations months in advance and as best as possible, to entities/organizations rather than individuals (e.g. to UNCAC rather than an individual in UNCAC) so that it is easier to liaise with the organization to get someone else to attend in the case of unforeseen emergencies. The ACTWG contacts will be utilized to confirm participants, and a presentation on the progress of the project will be made to ACTWG with the intention of giving advance notice of the intention to invite participants. The relevant international organizations where speakers will be drawn are usually in attendance at the ACTWG meetings. 

Lack of attendance from participants from economies: An invitation will be made months in advance to ensure that ample time is given for the relevant agencies to nominate. The workshop will be held in Taipei, and is a viable (cost and convenience) option for participants to travel to (particularly from APEC funded economies). 

Output of the workshop will not be useful: To mitigate this risk, the questionnaire will be developed to ensure that the workshop topics are of the greatest benefit to most participants. Speakers will also be advised to follow participants’ expectations at the workshop and will be guided by the project overseers when preparing their presentations (based on these expectations). The questionnaire is not intended to cater for individual participants’ preferences, but rather the collective views of the relevant domestic agencies. The questionnaire will be designed to cover all possible aspects of whistle-blower protection.

Monitoring and Evaluation

A total of 100 participants from all APEC economies are expected to be present at the workshop. 75 % of the total are expected to be from travel eligible APEC economies. At least 40% of the participants are expected to be women. When conducting the pre-workshop survey, we will include gender issues in the questionnaire and suggest for each member economy to have at least one woman complete the questionnaire. Also we will invite female speakers. 

A pre-workshop survey will be conducted for the purposes of advanced preparations, and particularly, to get a general feel of the needs and expectations of the different economies (see above). This will be the benchmark in measuring the success of the project. Given that the workshop is focused on information sharing and best practices, participants will be asked in an evaluation survey (after the workshop) if they are satisfied with the information and experiences shared and this will be assessed against the pre-workshop questionnaire. The results of this will be contained in a summary in the final report. Follow up actions from this are discussed in the section on sustainability. It is expected that each economy will complete at least 3 pre-workshop questionnaires (1 from the public sector, 1 from the private sector, and 1 from academia), hence at the least 63 questionnaires are expected to be completed, with economies having the opportunity to complete more than the 3 minimum questionnaires. 

Since there is no direct/immediate nexus between the subject matter and the issue of gender, any assessment of direct impact may not be possible. However, recommendations on the adaptation of measures specific for women in whistle-blower situations will be monitored through ACTWG by the sponsoring economies. 

Pre-workshop questionnaires will be distributed and collected via email using the ACTWG contact points. Post workshop surveys will be handed out in hard-copy at the workshop, and collected at the conclusion of the workshop. 

The project will be monitored against the milestones identified in the above Work Plan. Success of the project will be measured against indicators contained in the pre-workshop survey consolidated analysis which will be developed.

Linkages

This project falls within the primary mandate of ACTWG and will therefore be concentrated on legal and enforcement efforts under this group. The information generated and the outcomes will benefit the larger APEC community, as it strives to create an environment where people feel free and safe to speak out against corruption in the various sectors of the economy. Whilst leaders’ have committed to ensuring whistleblower protection through the various guidance documents, work in this area has been minimal. 

UNCAC and UNODC have placed emphasis on whistle-blower protection. This project aims to add value to other international efforts through best practices sharing on how best this protection can be afforded and implemented within the APEC region.  Efforts will be made to invite speakers from the relevant international organizations such as UNCAC, UNODC, and the American Bar Association, Transparency International, amongst others, to give a broader perspective of efforts in this area.

Sustainability

Beyond this project, the best practices and experiences shared will be used by participants to better their domestic whistle-blower systems. The recommendations and report will be a legacy document that can be referenced by other persons apart from the participants (present and future). Economies, through their participants will be encouraged to continue to pursue any activities on the subject matter within ACTWG and other relevant international organizations that will be invited to attend (UNCAC, OECD, and Transparency International etc). The recommendations that will be developed will be a reference for participants and the agencies they represent, and will also be an ACTWG document that will be presented on and factored into the future planning of the group. 

The recommendation will be a document that provides useful advice to economies and ACTWG on how the challenges and gaps identified can be addressed, or systems enhanced. It will be a forward looking document that ACTWG and economies will be able to make decisions on how best to strengthen cooperation in this field, as well as domestic systems. Additionally, the recommendations will allow for the economies and ACTWG to determine how and where to progress the issues identified, whether it be through ACTWG, domestic efforts or draw upon the expertise of other international forums that specialize in the area.

Project Overseers

All the project activities will be managed by the project overseers of the proposing economies, Chinese Taipei and Papua New Guinea. Alternate contacts have also been included to ensure continuity. 

For Chinese Taipei:
Project Overseer: Chia-Chi Chang, Officer, Agent, Agency Against Corruption, Ministry of Justice

Alternate Contact: Pei Chen Su, Agent, Agency Against Corruption, Ministry of Justice 

For Papua New Guinea:
Project Overseer: Fredrick Tamarua, Senior Legal Officer, Office of the State Solicitor, Department of Justice & Attorney General

Alternate Contact: Arieta Dagi, Legal Officer, Office of the State Solicitor, Department of Justice & Attorney General

Cost Efficiency

Not Applicable.

Drawdown Timetable

Not Applicable.

Direct Labour

Not Applicable.

Waivers

It is anticipated that speakers and active participants from travel-eligible economies may request advance payment of travel expenses (airfare and per diem). Therefore, the project is requesting advance payment for speakers and participants from travel-eligible economies.

Are there any supporting document attached?

No 
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Project No.

Project Title

Project Status

Publication (if any)

Fund Account

Sub-fund

Project Year

Project Session

APEC Funding

Co-funding Amount

Total Project Value

Sponsoring Forum

Topics

Committee

Other Fora Involved

Other Non-APEC Stakeholders Involved

Proposing Economy(ies)

Co-Sponsoring Economies

Expected Start Date

Expected Completion Date

Project Proponent Name 1

Job Title 1

Organization 1

Postal Address 1

Telephone 1

Fax 1

Email 1

Project Proponent Name 2

Job Title 2

Organization 2

Postal Address 2

Telephone 2

Fax 2

Email 2

Declaration

Project Summary

Relevance

Objectives

Alignment

TILF/ASF Justification

Beneficiaries and Outputs

Dissemination

Gender

Work Plan

Risks

Monitoring and Evaluation

Linkages

Sustainability

Project Overseers

Cost Efficiency

Drawdown Timetable

Direct Labour

Waivers

Are there any supporting document attached?

hdFldAdmin

Project Number

Previous Fora

Secretariat Comments

Reprogramming Notes

Consolidated QAF

Endorsement By Fora

PD Sign Off

Batch

Forum Priority

Committee Ranking Category

Committee Priority

PDM Priority

Priority Within Funding Category

Monitoring Report Received

Completion Report Received

PMU Field 1

PMU Field 2

PMU Field 3

On Behalf Of

Proposal Status

Originating Sub-Forum

Approval Status
Attachments
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